There’s a new ISO 18295 series for customer contact centers. These 2 publications reflect the increase in “service standards.” The goals of such standards are to define expectations, provide guidelines for performance management and support customer satisfaction. The customer contact centers addressed by the ISO 18295 Parts 1 and 2 may be in-house or outsourced. The specific responsibilities of the centers can vary.
The ISO 18295 Parts 1 and 2 cover different components of the company/customer relationship. Part 1 discusses the requirements for the center itself. Part 2 reviews the requirements for the organization making use of the center. This could be management in the case of an in-house center. Or it could be the contracting party in the case of an out-sourced center. Let’s take a look at what’s specifically covered in each document.
ISO 18295-1, Customer contact centres – Part 1: Requirements for customer contact centres
The standard starts out with the usual scope, referenced documents, and definition sections. Then Section 4 covers customer relationship requirements. This includes measuring and monitoring the customer experience as well as complaint resolution. Section 5 is on leadership. Human resources is next, with information on agent compentencies, skills development and communicating information to employees. Section 7 provides information on operational processes. Service delivery infrastructure, Section 8, includes the work environment and handling customer interactions. The client relationship section completes the primary text.
You’ll be pleased to find 2 informative Annexes. Annex A provides guidelines on metrics, an essential part of any contact center. Annex B is on the client/contact center relationship. A 6-item bibliography completes this 24 page standard.
ISO 18295-2, Customer contact centres – Part 2: Requirements for clients using the services of customer contact centres
As noted before, Part 2 covers the requirements on the “client side” of the equation. The client of a contact center may be company management or the company itself, depending on whether the center is in-house or out-sourced.
Again, the standard begins with the usual scope, referenced documents, and definition sections. Section 4 reviews the client requirements for contact center services. This describes the information needed to enable the contact center to appropriately represent the company and the company goals. Section 5 stays focused on the customer experience. This defines how a center should handle such areas as customer protection, consistency of information and so it. It also reviews strategies for the customer experience and accessing and contacting the customer. Ethical behavior and customer data are also covered in this section.
The final Section 6 reviews the relationship between the “client” and the call center. Areas like roles and responsibilities, forecasting and planning, customer feedback and monitoring are included. Communication between the parties and the terms of service are also covered. The concluding bibliography contains three references.
Communication between an organization and it’s customers is critical for every company. When these interactions are provided by a contact center of any kind, management needs to plan for success. The new ISO 18295 series provides the structure you need for defining your goals and implementing the steps to achieve them. You’ll find the two new standards to be invaluable in your quest for excellence.
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